Addendum. Autism: Is It All in the Head?
Pp. 206-216 (11)
Mark A. Hyman
Mark A. Hyman, MD, is Chairman of the Institute for Functional Medicine. Anna Strunecka asked him to provide his Editorial  as an addendum of this eBook. Autism is described as a hologram for chronic disease; an extreme manifestation of disruptions in normal biology that exist in varying degrees in most chronic illness. Autism is a complex, multi-system disorder rooted in a series of toxic, infectious, and allergic insults. Through the story of one boy, the author looked carefully at the few biological systems manifesting as the clinical features of autism: gut and immune dysfunction, nutritional deficiencies, toxicity and impaired detoxification, mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress, and genetic polymorphisms that set the stage for biochemical train wrecks. In autistic children, the results of testing often reveal results that show deviations orders of magnitude higher than in other chronic illness, but nonetheless, the same patterns exist. The lessons learned from the dissection of the functional causes and mechanisms of autism can illuminate the path for whole system medicine and clinical research and the potential for it to address the global crisis of chronic disease.
Chairman, Institute for Functional Medicine. Volunteer, Partners in Health Founder and Medical Director The UltraWellness Center, Lenox, MA 01240, USA.